Verdict: Short but jam-packed with thrilling fight scenes, witty banter, and well-worn characters, FIRST KILL is an excellent addition to the private detective genre with a likeable hero and a lovable sidekick.
The fourth Eli Quinn outing finds the P.I. racing against the clock to save a missing real estate mogul in the increasingly dangerous Arizona suburbs.
Madison Mack hires Quinn to locate her father after he disappears from a conference. Quinn, new to the P.I. business but rapidly gaining fame, delves into the cutthroat world of real estate in the paradoxically named town of Pleasant. Quinn and his trusty canine sidekick, Solo, doggedly hunt down clues until another real estate agent goes missing. With two lives hanging in the balance, Quinn calls in all his allies and newfound skills to root out the mysterious figure hiding behind the scenes. All of which leads to a harrowing fight that forces Quinn to the edge of his humanity.
Britt does a stellar job of developing Quinn as a character in this novella. Despite three successful cases under his belt, he is still a novice detective. His innate skills and trusted friends keep him on the trail, even when cold cocked in his own house. One of his allies is the lovely Sam Marcos. Marcos and Quinn’s long friendship slowly builds into something more in this book in a believable and endearing way. The furry sidekick, Solo, plays a major role in most of the events of the book. The German Shepard is highly trained and may be a better detective than Quinn himself.
As the title alludes, Quinn is forced to kill for the first time after an epic struggle in the rainy desert. But don’t let the intensity fool you. FIRST KILL is not afraid of wry humor. For instance, tailing a suspect is easy when they plaster their own faces on their cars like most real estate agents are wont to do. Overall the story is a modern take on the detective novel, but remains close to the classic titles in the genre, making it both accessible and entertaining. New readers unfamiliar with the preceding titles will not be lost, as Britt subtly provides backstory as the current case unfolds.
Short but jam-packed with thrilling fight scenes, witty banter, and well-worn characters, FIRST KILL is an excellent addition to the private detective genre with a likeable hero and a lovable sidekick.
~ John Murray for IndieReader.